One man’s trash, the saying goes, is another man’s treasure.

During the holidays your trash can provide a thief with a treasure trove of information, says John Worden, director of University of Missouri Extension’s Law Enforcement Training Institute in Columbia.

Discarded boxes from electronics, a hunting gun or cellphone give thieves clues they can use to make their own shopping list of what to steal from your home.

Worden suggests the following ways to kick clues to the curb:

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• Take boxes directly to a recycling center.

• Break boxes down and turn them inside out and facing each other so that original contents cannot be identified. Tightly bundle boxes.

• Put trash out right before pickup to reduce the time boxes are visible from the road. Don’t give thieves a sneak peek of the content of your home.

Although this advice holds especially true for the holidays, it’s also useful any time you move into a new place or whenever you get new electronics.

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